Tuesday, October 29, 2013



Chaplain Mike:
As the conversation proceeded, Fitch felt led to say, “Maybe the best thing we can do is nothing.” What was he thinking? Here is the reasoning behind his suggestion:
  • Focusing on projects turns people into objects.
  • This takes lots of effort and resources.
  • It ends up making us feel better about ourselves, but it also reinforces and perpetuates less than desirable structures.
  • Thus we end up colonizing people and serving them from positions of power.
  • Nothing really changes.
There is more wisdom here than most people want to consider. DOING is a means of control. But Christians are called to let God control. That point about feeling better about ourselves is devastating - Ministry is about the other, not ourselves. Sometimes ministry is supposed to be uncomfortable and difficult and unrewarding, but we do it anyway, for the sake of the other.

If you probe this really deeply, you come to realize that the point about objectifying people may be the most important one. After all, wasn't one of the problems with "The Law" that it objectified just a bit too much, certainly as practiced by religious authority of Christs time. Isn't the objectification of the individual the bottom line difference between the legal approach of the Old Testament and the incarnational approach of the New?

"So," people will ask, "what then is the purpose of the church, the institution? Aren't institutions supposed to do something?" Yes, they are, but in some cases they exists merely to preserve and shelter and develop. I think the church is meant to preserve the learning and wisdom of the centuries - shelter Christians from a stormy world and develop them to deal with the world, which includes - doing things in it.

Think about it.


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